rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Hey smartphone user, your private calls are being 'HEARD'!

Hey smartphone user, your private calls are being 'HEARD'!

December 05, 2013 14:35 IST

Your private calls are being 'HEARD'!

     Next

Next
Vicky Nanjappa

America's National Security Agency cannot be possibly tracking only suspected terrorists in India, says Vicky Nanjappa

The furore over its global snooping programme has not stopped American intelligence behemoth National Security Agency from listening in and collecting information on private phone calls, according to a report by the Washington Post.

The Post article should give Indian security agencies enough reasons to worry as it states that of the staggering 5 billion phone calls are monitored by the NSA, of these 20 million are made or received in India.

The NSA’s excuses -- that such measures were necessary to enhance national security -- has not gone down well with New Delhi, especially after highly-sophisticated tracking devices were found at the Indian embassy in Washington.

Though many senior officials felt that Washington’s snooping was unethical and completely unacceptable, India did not take a rigid stance on the matter like some other nations -- including France and Germany -- did, after discovering that they have been hapless targets of America’s covert surveillance.

Click on NEXT for more...


Image: Actor Aamir Khan reacts as he holds a mobile phone during a promotional event
Photographs: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters

     Next

Your private calls are being 'HEARD'!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Vicky Nanjappa

Though India tried to brush off the issue by meekly stating that every intelligence agency spied on each other anyway, sources in these agencies point out that even in the top-secret world of surveillance, certain boundaries need to be respected.

If the NSA was keeping an eye on suspected terror activity by certain Indian citizens, Washington should have had the courtesy to inform Delhi about it, believe these sources.

Indian agencies are also apprehensive that the NSA cannot be possibly tracking only suspected terrorists in India. The 20 million phone calls are bound to include top politicians and corporates, said an official of the Intelligence Bureau.

“We are conducting regular checks in the light of these revelations. Our primary agenda will be to secure the phones of important political and corporate figures who have a say in Indian policy making,” he said.

Click on NEXT for more...


Image: A man speaks on a mobile phone as another playfully applies shaving cream
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters

Prev     Next

Your private calls are being 'HEARD'!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Vicky Nanjappa

But Indian agencies are no match to their American counterparts when it comes to technological sophistication and cyber finesse. So, despite their best efforts, these agencies are finding it hard to track Indian cell phones that are being monitored by the NSA.

According to the Post, the NSA uses a method known as Co-Traveller to tap into cables that link cell phone networks and eventually intercept communication. The GPS installed in smart phones enables the NSA to keep tabs on a person even when he/she is not using their phone.

The NSA also extracts data stored in a mobile phone by hooking on to the Wi-Fi.

In today’s world, terrorists and top officials alike use smartphones which have GPS and Wi-Fi, thereby making it easier for NSA spies to track them.

Click on NEXT for more...


Image: An aspiring model uses her mobile phone during an audition
Photographs: Parth Sanyal/Reuters

Prev     Next

Your private calls are being 'HEARD'!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Vicky Nanjappa

The Indian government has faced considerable flak for not protesting strongly enough against America’s limitless spying.

New Delhi, in fact, plans to roll out a similar programme with the help of the National Cyber Coordination Centre which will keep track of communication between 1.2 billion Indian citizens.

But intelligence officials are quick to assure skeptics that the Indian snooping programme will work within certain predetermined boundaries.

“We are fully aware that the US has unscrupulously spied on phone calls in India that have nothing to do with any kind of terror activity,” admitted an official of the IB.

While New Delhi is busy protesting Washington’s decision to cross all ethical boundaries via its spying programme, intelligence agencies are working overtime to build a firewall around sensitive and secret data stored in the cell phones of Indian policy makers and authority figures.

Click on NEXT for more...


Image: A child plays with a mobile phone during a festival
Photographs: Sima Dubey/Reuters

Prev     Next

TOP photo features you missed last week

Prev     More
Vicky Nanjappa

Click on MORE to see another PHOTO features...



Tags: 1

Prev     More